Abstract: This report presents the findings of a scoping study of current and potential demographic research in geographic regions of interest covered by the Desert Knowledge and Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). The key aims are to outline relevant aspects of data availability and quality, to consider issues related to Indigenous and non-Indigenous population mobility, to develop key demographic indicators for desert and tropical savanna regions, to explore the development of appropriate methods of demographic analysis for remote mobile populations, and to examine appropriate geographic classifications for data analysis. These objectives are augmented by the development of a prototype Demographic Information System (DIS) for desert and savanna Australia as an online facility for the accumulation, storage, manipulation and dissemination of key demographic data and derived indicators. A blend of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) and the Interim Biogeographical Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) is developed to allow demographic analysis in the ecological zones of arid semi-arid and savanna Australia. The total area of the desert (arid and semi-arid zones) is approximately 69 per cent of the Australian land mass. The savanna (which incorporates part of the semi-arid zone), amounts to 22 per cent of the Australia landmass. These regions have a population density of between 0.05 and 0.29 persons per km2 (compared with 2.5 persons per km2 for the country as a whole). They encompass all of the Northern Territory, large parts of Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, the western half of New South Wales, and even a small portion of north-west Victoria. For many Statistical Local Areas in these zones accurate recording of demographic variables is rendered difficult by large geographic size, small and dispersed populations, frequent short-term population movement, and high population turnover. Errors of under-reporting in population data are especially problematic in remote, sparsely settled areas. These problems mean that denominators may not accurately measure change in social indicators.